Touseef (R), key accused in the case, and his aide Rehaan (L)
Touseef (R), key accused in the case, and his aide Rehaan (L)
PTI Photo

Faridabad: A Faridabad court in Haryana on Friday sentenced life imprisonment to the two convicts -- Tauseef Ahmed and Rehan -- in the case of the sensational murder of Nikita Tomar in broad daylight outside her college in October last year.

The duo were found guilty of the gruesome killing of 21-year-old Tomar, a third year B.Com student, in Ballabgarh by the district sessions court on Wednesday, around four months after the trial began on December 1.

However, the quantum of the punishment was not announced on that day.

Both the convicts were found guilty under sections 302 (murder), 366 (kidnapping a woman to compel her into marriage), section 506 (criminal intimidation), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Both have been in jail since their arrest in October.

The third accused in the case, Mohammad Azruddin, who was charged for providing weapons to the two, was acquitted by Faridabad Additional District and Sessions Judge Sartaj Baswana.

She was shot dead at point-black range by her former classmate Tauseef outside Aggarwal College. The crime was caught on camera. The trial for this murder case began on December 1, 2020.

The victim's family had claimed that this was a case of 'love jihad' where the accused Tauseef pressured the victim to embrace Islam and marry him.

Tausif and Rehan had tried to abduct Nikita Tomar. When she resisted, Tausif pulled out a revolver and fired at her.

The incident took place on October 26 when Nikita Tomar emerged out of the college. Two men tried to first drag her into their vehicle at gunpoint, and one of them shot her when she resisted.

A special investigation team (SIT), which was formed on October 27, 2020, had filed a 700-page chargesheet on November 6, with 60 witnesses in the case.

Following the crime, protests were held across Haryana. Seeing the sensitivity of the crime, the Manohar Lal Khattar-led state government had constituted a five-member SIT to probe the incident.

The victim's family said they had filed a police complaint against Touseef in 2018, but the matter was settled later.

Not satisfied with the life imprisonment, the family said they would challenge the judgment in the Punjab and Haryana High Court to demand capital punishment for the convicts.

"Her parents educated her and thought that she was going to be self-dependent. That girl was murdered in a gruesome manner. I would like to demand to give capital punishment," National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma told the media.

Nikita Tomar's father said his daughter could have been saved if a law against love jihad had been enacted earlier.

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